A Bill That Would Require Hands-Free Cellphone Devices While Driving Closer To Law
A bill that would require drivers to use hands-free cellphone devices has passed in the House and Senate.
It's a controversial measure that's caused great debate among, not only lawmakers, but also concerned citizens. The bill would make it illegal to use a cellphone while driving without a hands-free device, like Bluetooth. Texting and driving is already illegal, and some lawmakers say this is the next step in cutting down on distracted driving. If it passes, Maine would become the 15th state to enact similar legislation.
Critics of the bill say it would discriminate against lower income Mainers who can't afford phones with hands-free technology, or cars that have Bluetooth in the dash. Still others, like contractors, have complained that they do much of their business on the phone while driving so it would hinder their communication with clients.
The bill still has several hurdles to clear before landing on the Governor's desk, like how much it will cost. For now, it's still a proposal that WLBZ-TV reports would include punishments of $75 for a first infraction, and $150 for violating it at least twice within three years. Exceptions to the law could include certain emergency situations.